Chalkboard Paint Pots for Growing Veg from Seed

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I used a low-odor paint and did my painting outside in the shade.
I used a low-odor paint and did my painting outside in the shade. | Source
Because the paint dries quickly, I could apply two coats in one hour.
Because the paint dries quickly, I could apply two coats in one hour. | Source

While preparing a display about fall vegetables for a nearby farmers' market, I planted radishes in an old clay pot painted with chalkboard paint.

I thought that using a chalkboard paint pot would make it easy to provide information about sowing, germination, fertilizing and harvesting radishes to passersby at a glance.

After the farmers' market display was taken down, I decided to use the pot to keep track of other handy information for myself, including

  • name of vegetable
  • planting date
  • projected germination date
  • dates for fertilization and
  • projected harvest date.

I think using a chalkboard pot for vegetables is a really cool idea. And although I don't grow many vegetables in pots, I'll probably plant lettuce and Swiss chard in chalkboard containers also, just for the fun and easiness of it.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Pot

If you'd like to make your own chalkboard pot, you'll need

  • new or used clay pots
  • soapy water & a scrub brush (if you're using old pots)
  • an inexpensive sponge brush
  • chalkboard paint (not to be confused with chalk paint) and
  • newspaper or drop cloths.

Fall Gardening

Do you grow fall vegetables?

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And if you intend to use it for growing vegetables, herbs or other plants, you'll also need potting mix, seed, water and chalk.

I used an old clay pot that has a few chips in it, so the first thing I had to do was clean it to remove insect eggs, fungal spores, mold, etc.

Clay pots are best cleaned with warm soapy water (use a mild dish detergent) and a scrub brush.

Prep pots for planting & painting.

Scrub with mild soapy water.
Scrub with mild soapy water. | Source
Rinse well with water.
Rinse well with water. | Source

Paint the Pot

Once the pot was dry, I placed it on a plastic drop cloth outside in the shade and applied chalkboard paint that I had bought at Sherwin-Williams.

If I'd been applying the paint to glass or ceramic, I would have wiped it first with rubbing alcohol, but for clay pots, no additional prep work is needed. Just apply it with a brush. I used a cheap, disposable one.

The first coat dried in less than 15 minutes. It didn't look glossy enough to me, so I applied another. Then I left it alone for a few hours before filling the pot.

Apply chalkboard paint to clean, dry pots.

Allow pots to dry before applying paint.
Allow pots to dry before applying paint. | Source
I used a chalkboard paint that was low odor.
I used a chalkboard paint that was low odor. | Source
I applied two coats within an hour's time. (It dries quickly.)
I applied two coats within an hour's time. (It dries quickly.) | Source

Plant Your Veg

I mixed up my own soil mix, moistened it and then filled the pot.

Next, following the directions of the packet of radish seed that I received free last year from Sweet Garden Organics Farm, I sowed them and watered them with seaweed fertilizer.

Follow the planting directions on the seed packet. Seed packets really do give good advice!
Follow the planting directions on the seed packet. Seed packets really do give good advice! | Source

According to the package, the seed should have sprouted in 7-10 days, but it germinated in only two!

Fill the pot with soil, sow seed according to package directions & water well.

Keep the soil moist before and after germination. Seedlings should be watered daily and protected from intense sun & heat.
Keep the soil moist before and after germination. Seedlings should be watered daily and protected from intense sun & heat. | Source
Following the package directions, I watered with seaweed fertilizer after sowing.
Following the package directions, I watered with seaweed fertilizer after sowing. | Source

Track Your Plantings in Chalk

After sowing the seeds, I wrote all sorts of helpful information on the pot, including the number of days it would take for the radishes to mature, the date I'd planted them, etc. I also couldn't resist drawing a few radishes ! lol

Since I'm into re-purposing, I even used the stir stick, stapling the seed packet to it and sticking it into the pot as another visual reminder of what I'd planted.

The planting date, date of expected germination, harvest date & other info in chalk on the pot stays put surprisingly well.
The planting date, date of expected germination, harvest date & other info in chalk on the pot stays put surprisingly well.

I thought the chalk might smudge when I handled the pot, but I carted it to the farmers' market and back home again without no problem. I also moved it in the garden several times in order to keep it out of intense sun without disturbing the chalk.

It took a wet towel to remove the expected germination date after the seeds sprouted, so . . . the chalk really stays put.

I'm not sure how it would do in a rainstorm, but I don't intend to leave my radishes out it one anyway. (:

Other Practical Uses for Chalkboard Paint

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About the Author

The Dirt Farmer has been an active gardener for over 30 years.

She first began gardening as a child alongside her grandfather on her parents' farm.

Today, The Dirt Farmer gardens at home, volunteers at community gardens and continues to learn about gardening through the MD Master Gardener program.

© 2014 Jill

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17 comments

sriv profile image

sriv 19 months ago from Lucknow,India

Very useful Hub.I'll do so.Good ideas.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 20 months ago from United States Author

Thanks, Kristen! The pots are an easy way to keep track of the dates. Glad you stopped by. (: --Jill


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 20 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Jill, this was a clever and useful idea. I love the notion to use chalkboard paint on those pots. It's so vivid and visual. Voted up!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 21 months ago from United States Author

Hey there! Nice to hear from you, Patricia. So you're in Florida now! Hope you're loving it. Thanks for the nice comments. All the best, Jill


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida

That is a clever way to identify seeds that you have planted.

I can't wait to plant some...I am in transition right now and am unable to do much planting. But the first of May I will be already

Voted up++++ and pinned Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 2 years ago from United States Author

Hi C MarieWeber! Have never tried grow bags but will check them out. Thanks for the comment & for stopping by. All the best, Jill


C_MarieWeber profile image

C_MarieWeber 2 years ago from Wichita

Very cool. I put mine in grow bags this year but they didn't do as well as I wanted them to.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 2 years ago from United States Author

Hi Radcliff. Nice to hear from you! Chalkboard paint pots planted with something fast like Swiss chard or radishes or lettuce would be fun for kids this fall. Something to take their minds off the start of school!! All the best, Jill (:


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 2 years ago from United States Author

Hey Deb! I thought it was handy, too. Nice to hear from you! Btw, we were out in the woods last week and saw 10 wild turkeys. I've never seen so many together before. It was awesome! --Jill


SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

SANJAY LAKHANPAL 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

Excellent idea. I think the paint may inhibit the growth of green algae on pots. Well done and thanks for sharing.


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

Very cool. Why didn't I think of doing something like this? I appreciate you sharing it.


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 2 years ago from Hudson, FL

This is such a cool idea! Would be great for pots on the patio under cover. The kids would love it. Thanks for sharing!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Definitely an excellent idea. I like how one can have all the information on the planting in one place where it cannot get lost.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 2 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for commenting, DrBill, MsDora & Purl3agony! Appreciate your visits! Right after publishing, we headed for the internet-free woods in the wilds of WV. We had a great time, but it's good to be home, too. All the best, Jill


purl3agony profile image

purl3agony 2 years ago from USA

I always love your hubs and this is another great idea! I never thought of using chalkboard paint on flower pots. This could also be a fun art project - I would love to do this so I could decorate the little pots in my windowsill garden over my kitchen sink. Voted up and pinned :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Beautiful idea. Will share with someone who can benefit. Thank you.


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

Thanks for a neat To Do with lots of nifty ideas! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience! ;-)

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